Monday, September 15, 2008

Is there such a thing as too much dominance?

In a pre Olympic qualifying tournament --Slovakia won the women's ice hockey match by a score of 82-0 over Bulgaria. They averaged one goal every 44 seconds. According to media reports, there are only 37 women hockey players in Bulgaria, and the goalie was 16 years old.

This is a ridiculously high score and raises questions surrounding fair play and whether the "mercy rule" should be incorporated in pre Olympic qualifying. As a result of such a high score, the validity and place of women's hockey is questioned and criticized.

History informs us that the Canadian men's team used to dominate early 1900 ice hockey play at the Olympics; however, in 2002, Canada won the gold for the first time in 50 years. Therefore, many argue that it took time but the rest of the world did eventually catch up to the US and CAN in ice hockey and today World and Olympic tournaments are quite competitive.

Regardless of one's sex, should there be a "mercy rule" incorporated in such a sport where many teams do not have the population, nor the economic status to play with the "big boys and girls" ?